Greek parliament approves austerity plan

February 13th, 2012 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Athens, Feb 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Greece’s parliament has approved austerity measures requested by the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund to secure a 130-billion euro ($170 billion) bailout to avoid default.

The vote on the unpopular package that envisions belt-tightening and wage and pension cuts was preceded by riots and looting in Athens that also spread to other cities. A total of 199 out of 300 deputies of the unicameral parliament voted for the bill, 74 were against with five abstentions.

A few buildings in Athens were set on fire as tens of thousands of protesters expressed their anger at the austerity plan. About 70 people, half of them police officers, were injured, health authorities said.

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos earlier warned against failing to agree spending cuts, saying Greece was facing “uncontrolled economic chaos”.

The bill is yet to be approved by the Eurozone finance ministers.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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